"Social capital" can be considered to be the product of co-operationbetween various institutions, networks and business partners. It haspotential as a useful tool for business ethics. In this article weidentify categories pertinent to the measurement of social capital insmall and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). By drawing on three differentsectors, one business-to-business service, one business-to-customerservice, and one manufacturing, we have enabled the consideration ofsectoral differences. We find sector to play an important part inrelation to business practices and social capital. Our inclusion (...) of SMEsfrom Germany and the United Kingdom has called attention to cultural,institutional and economic aspects of two regions of Europe and how theycan influence SME social capital. Social capital is found to beinfluenced by context and, in particular, institutional arrangements. Inanalysing the data we note particular areas of interest from the pointof view of SMEs and social capital as being: formal engagement,networking within sectors, networking across sectors, volunteerism andgiving to charity, and finally a focus on why people engage. We concludethat there is a considerable amount of further research needed on socialcapital, SME''s and business ethics. (shrink)
In this paper we report on empirical research which investigates social capital of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Bringing an international perspective to the work, we make a comparison between 30 firms located in West London and Munich in the sectors of food manufacturing/production, marketing services and garages. Here we present 6 case studies, which we use to illustrate the early findings from this pilot project. We identify differences in approach to associational membership in Germany and the U.K., with (...) a greater propensity to "belong" to an official group in Germany. We distinguish clear sectoral similarities across the countries, and indications that certain personality types will seek out engagement and find time beyond busy work life schedules, often merging work/home/leisure life and friends. Some of our cases illustrate that formal institutions, networks and mutual relationships can develop social capital for the SME, although we should take care not to assume a universal win-win situation for those who are engaged and contribute to the common good. Some of the obstacles to cooperation and civic engagement are outlined. (shrink)
El término “doble vínculo” fue utilizado por primera vez por el antropólogo Gregory Bateson. René Girard asume esta aportación de la Escuela de Palo Alto para formular su teoría del “deseo mimético”. El presente artículo expone la transformación de esta noción en la antropología contemporánea.
This anthology brings together many of the more significant contributions to Cartesian scholarship, some of which reach far back as the 1930s. Altogether, there are well over 100 detailed analyses and discussions of salient aspects of Descartes' Promethean legacy. Because Descartes intended his system to embrace not only philosophy but also a complete scientific corpus, this collection covers both philosophical issues and scientific views: Volume 1 is devoted to questions of Cartesian Method and epistemology; Volumes 2 and 3 concentrate on (...) his metaphysics; and Volume 4 discusses Descartes' scientific views and achievements. The lucidity and originality of the essays, a number of which are already classics of Cartesian scholarship, will ensure that this anthology becomes a standard in Cartesian philosophy. An invaluable resource, Rene;e Descartes provides a large variety of introductions, analyses, criticisms, and appraisals of the problems which preoccupied Descartes and the solutions he propounded. (shrink)
La obra de René Girard está salpicada de críticas al humanismo y a los humanistas. En este estudio nos preguntamos en primer lugar qué es el humanismo, haciéndonos cargo de la problemática historiográfica. Presentamos el contraste existente entre los tópicos e ideales humanistas y las ideas que se derivan de la teoría mimética. Estudiamos las críticas explícitas de Girard a los humanistas y, por último, adoptamos una perspectiva que permite calificarlo a él mismo como un humanista.
Contributors are Susan Bordo, Stanley Clarke, Erica Harth, Leslie Heywood, Luce Irigaray, Genevieve Lloyd, Mario Moussa, Eileen O'Neill, Adrianna Paliyenko, Ruth Perry, Mario Sáenz, Karl Stern, Thomas Wartenberg, and James Winders.
A major contribution to Descartes studies, this book provides a panorama of cutting-edge scholarship ranging widely over Descartes's own primary concerns: metaphysics, physics, and its applications. It is at once a tool for scholars and--steering clear of technical Cartesian science--an accessible resource that will delight nonspecialists. The contributors include Edwin Curley, Willis Doney, Alan Gabbey, Daniel Garber, Marjorie Grene, Gary Hatfield, Marleen Rozemond, John Schuster, Dennis Sepper, Stephen Voss, Stephen Wagner, Margaret Welson, Jean Marie Beyssade, Michelle Beyssade, Michel Henry, Evert (...) van Leeuwen, Jean-Luc Marion, Genevieve Rodis-Lewis, and Jean-Pierre Seris. Combining new textual sensitivity with attentiveness to history, they represent the best established scholars and most exciting new voices, including both English speaking and newly-translated writers. Part I examines the foundations of Descartes's philosophy: Cartesian certainty; the phenomenology of the cogito and its modulations in the passions; and the defensibility and comprehensibility of the Cartesian God. The second part examines Descartes's groundbreaking metaphysics: mind's distinctness from and interaction with body; imagination; perception; and language. Part III examines Cartesian science: the revolutionary rhetoric of the Rules and the Discourse; the metaphysical foundations of physics; the interplay of rationalism and empiricism; the mechanics and human biology that flow from Descartes's physics. (shrink)
When originally published in 1952, this book filled a gap in the history of philosophy and science and remains an important work today, because it puts the main mathematical and physical discoveries of Descartes in an accessible form, for the benefit of English readers. Descartes is acknowledged to be the founder of modern mathematics, through his invention of analytical geometry and this volume charts Descartes’ role in bringing a unity into algebra and geometry and the development of mathematics into a (...) discipline which could be properly analysed. Carefully paraphrasing the Géométrie, this volume retains much of Descartes’ original notation as well as the original diagrams. The volume also discusses the considerable contribution that Descartes made to the physical sciences which involved accurate work in optics, light, sight and colour. (shrink)
La obra girardiana no es sistemática. El análisis y la síntesis de contenido de sus textos es el objeto de esta investigación. Pretendemos aquí exponer y clarificar su filosofía mimética, tanto su teoría sobre la formación de los individuos, como su filosofía interdividual del sujeto, además de contextualizarla dentro del giro intersubjetivo de la filosofía contemporánea.
An introduction to Descartes as a philosopher. Situates his philosophy within the context of Descartes' efforts to forge a new natural philosophy, including original work on the theory of the senses and the passions and emotions.
Why is it so important to study Nietzsche? Many works about Nietzsche’s thought have been published over the years, from every conceivable position, including analytical philosophy.1 One more essay on Nietzsche may seem a bit repetitive. Yet, as Giuseppe Fornari wrote in the preface of Il Caso Nietzsche (The Nietzsche Case), it is fundamental to analyze Nietzsche deeply, because the most important themes of his works are still hidden among the pages of his books.2 René Girard has made an (...) original contribution to understanding Nietzsche by underlining the close connections between Nietzsche’s philosophy and the personal relationships he established during his life. In particular, Girard’s .. (shrink)
Reflecting on his scientific career toward the end of his life, the French-educated medical researcher René Dubos presented his flowering as an ecological thinker as a story of linear progression—the inevitable product of the intellectual seeds planted in his youth. But how much store should we set by Dubos’s account of his ecological journey? Resisting retrospective biographical readings, this paper seeks to relate the development of Dubos’s ecological ideas to his experimental practices and his career as a laboratory researcher. (...) In particular, I focus on Dubos’s studies of tuberculosis at the Rockefeller Institute in the period 1944–1956—studies which began with an inquiry into the tubercle bacillus and the physiochemical determinants of virulence, but which soon encompassed a wider investigation of the influence of environmental forces and host–parasite interactions on susceptibility and resistance to infection in animal models. At the same time, through a close reading of Dubos’s scientific papers and correspondence, I show how he both drew on and distinguished his ecological ideas from those of other medical researchers such as Theobald Smith, Frank Macfarlane Burnet, and Frank Fenner. However, whereas Burnet and Fenner tended to view ecological interactions at the level of populations, Dubos focused on the interface of hosts and parasites in the physiological environments of individuals. The result was that although Dubos never fully engaged with the science of ecology, he was able to incorporate ecological ideas into his thought and practices, and relate them to his holistic views on health and the natural harmony of man and his environment. (shrink)
Review of Desmond M. Clarke. Descartes: A Biography. xi + 507 pp., apps., figs., bibl., index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. $40 (cloth).; Richard Watson, Cogito, Ergo Sum: The Life of René Descartes. viii + 375 pp., figs., bibl., index. Boston: David R. Godine, 2002. $35 (cloth).
Even though the seventeenth-century French philosopher René Descartes has been remembered primarily for his contributions to Western philosophy, he also showed a curiosity about many aspects of the natural world. His mechanistic and rationalistic methods have been criticized as often as they have been praised, but they provided a framework for subsequent scientific inquiry.
This essay contends that René Girard is not a philosopher or a scientist whose ideas are open to theological appropriation. Instead, contrary to his assertions otherwise, the Girard corpus ought to be read as if it were articulating a form of theology whose primary intellectual home can ultimately be found on a theological map. As the field of Girardian theology grows, it becomes more evident that we need some theological lenses for examining the theology already lying waiting—sometimes inchoately, sometimes (...) not—in Girard's texts, and also for examining how theologians use and misuse his texts. If we can see that he is already doing theology then a theological critique becomes plausible and valid in principle, and indeed becomes an internal critique. Applying good interpretive lenses will provide some rigorous criteria for analyzing the degree to which Girardian theologians are following the internal logic of Girard's thought in their appropriations of it. The interpretive lenses I propose using on Girard are first the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar and then the theology of John Cassian . These two theologians provide us with lenses that help us see that Girard is fundamentally a Catholic theologian involved in resisting the speculative re‐writing of Christianity by proponents of “false gnosis” and that he belongs within the category of theologians who advocate spiritual transformation and “true gnosis.”. (shrink)
Language is the surest indicator of the being with.In Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World, René Girard insists that contemporary theories of language cannot fully account for mimetic desire, which is rooted far deeper in human anthropology. Girard writes, "the mimetic process, without being foreign to language, is prior to language and goes beyond it in every respect."1 While Bateson's "double bind" might be repur-posed to explain the mimetic problem, the problem itself unfolds independent of any system (...) of communication. This is a striking claim, particularly from a scholar who stumbled upon his key insight through the study of a specific literary genre. Nevertheless, Girard insists that while language... (shrink)
Religion has become a vital resource for attempts to rethink the meaning of the political. This article rehearses the efforts of two recent figures, René Girard and Giorgio Agamben, to transform the political by renewing its connection to religion. Both thinkers struggle to escape politics as defined by Carl Schmitt's friend/enemy distinction. Girard and Agamben do clash ideologically, but their inquiries into sacrifice and messianism take similar courses. Regarding origins, Girard argues for the sacrificial crisis as the common parent (...) to religion and politics. Conversely, for Agamben, the Roman figure of homo sacer distinguishes politics from religion. With respect to the future, Girard's messianism installs Christian belief as the only way to move beyond violence. By contrast, Agamben steers Pauline messianism toward the efforts to displace sovereignty and reopen the political. I conclude that Agamben breaks with Schmitt while Girard reinscribes his politics at a higher level. Key Words: Giorgio Agamben Rey Chow Christianity René Girard homo sacer messianism politics sacred sacrifice Carl Schmitt. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: René Descartes' Cogito is an example of a paradigmatic thought experiment, herald of both subjectivism and new science in Europe's Modern Age, that seems to have escaped the attention of thought experiment philosophers. On deep analysis, the Cogito appears as universal instantiation. The Cogito has strong rhetorical effects for it narratively generalizes from I to all human kind, and its historical and philosophical success can be explained from its concise enthymematic structure that rings true in many possible senses. (...) We consider it a preeminent example of a thought experiment as it states the power of thinking as its very contents. From Descartes' methodology of doubt we can conclude that, e.g., on a Wittgensteinian interpretation, the Cogito is a logical thought experiment rather than a psychological one. RESUMO: O Cogito de René Descartes é um exemplo de experimento mental paradigmático, precursor tanto do subjetivismo quanto da nova ciência, na Idade Moderna europeia, o qual parece ter escapado à atenção dos filósofos que estudaram o experimento mental. Na análise profunda, o Cogito aparece como uma instanciação universal. O Cogito tem fortes efeitos retóricos por si mesmo, generalizando narrativamente desde o eu para toda a espécie humana, e seu sucesso histórico e filosófico pode ser explicado por sua estrutura entimemática concisa, que soa através de muitos sentidos possíveis. Consideramos que é um exemplo proeminente de um experimento mental, na medida em que afirma o poder de pensar como seus próprios conteúdos. A partir da metodologia da dúvida de Descartes, podemos concluir que, em uma interpretação wittgensteiniana, o Cogito é um experimento mental mais lógico que psicológico. (shrink)
The major goal of René Descartes’s rich and penetrating recent book, Meditations on First Philosophy, is to develop a methodology for the discovery of the truth, more specifically, a methodology that accommodates the dictates of a mathematical physics for our view of physical reality. Such a methodology must accordingly deal with and seek to defuse the apparent conflict between a mathematical physics and our commonsense picture of things, a conflict that continues to pose difficult challenges. Though much in the (...) book is devoted to an account of the mind, that focus results from the broader goal of finding a methodology for discovery that will deliver an overall picture of reality consonant with a mathematical physics. Much that Descartes says in this book may strike many readers as extravagant and implausible, and perhaps hardly worth serious consideration. But there is a line of argument one can extract that is challenging and often compelling, even if not in the end wholly convincin .. (shrink)
Treatments of the moral doctrine of René Descartes found in the Cartesian scholarship do not typically regard the Cartesian philosophy as being devoted to moral instruction. In this essay, it is argued that the moral philosophy of Descartes involves the connection of the method enunciated in the Discourse on the Method with the „morale par provision” articulated in that work. The affinity between morals and method is found in the fact that moral dispositions are to be adapted to the (...) progress achieved in scientific technology. Accordingly, it is the advance of science that determines the good of man. And it is concluded that the Cartesian moral teaching amounts to this: That which man can do is good or moral to do. (shrink)
La tesis principal de este ensayo estipula que el determinismo causal es una propiedad de la naturaleza y el primer principio de la inteligibilidad natural. Se expresa, por ejemplo, en la frase de Lucrecio: “Nada surge de la nada ni va hacia la nada”. Todo lo que existe es efecto de una red de causas y es a su vez causa de otras cosas. Se sigue que la teoría científica orientada hacia la inteligibilidad —diferente de la ciencia positi-vista y pragmática— (...) es la búsqueda de determinismo causal. El desarrollo de esta tesis utiliza como hilo conductor el pensamiento de René Thom. Esto significa que el determinismo causal se examina en su rela-ción con (I) la estabilidad y la inestabilidad, (II) el desafío de la mecánica cuántica, (III) las raíces aporéticas de la ciencia tal como la dualidad determinismo-indeterminismo, y finalmente (IV) en su relación con el método para ponerlo de manifiesto, es decir la reducción de lo posible —estrategia que es, en este dominio, una de las ideas más originales de Thom.The main thesis of this essay is that causal determinism is a property of nature and the main principle of natural intelligibility. It can be expressed in Lucretius’ words: “Nothing comes out of nothing or passes into nothing”. Everything is the effect of a web of causes and is, in its turn, cause of something else. It follows that the essence of an intelligibility-oriented scientific theory —which is different from science in a positivist or pragmatist sense— is the search for causal determinism. The development of this thesis is guided by René Thom’s thought. This means that causal determinism is analysed, first, in its relation to stability and instability; second, in its relation to the prima facie indeterminism of quantum mechanics; third, in its relation to the aporetic roots of science such as the duality determinism —indeterminism, and, finally, in its relation to the method which allows science to follow the causal determinist ideal: the reduction of the possible— a strategy which is, in this field, one of Thom’s most original ideas. (shrink)
Religion in the perverted form of idolatry/ideology is at the root of violence for Simone Weil and René Girard. For Girard, “mimetic desire” expresses the idolization of another and ultimately of the self: when the individual’s expectations of achieving autonomy through another remain unfulfilled, he seeksa scapegoat. For Weil, everyone is subject to “force” as recipient or perpetrator of violence which is catalyzed by ideology, a form of idolatry. While Weil focuseson the idolatry of ideas, both writers agree that (...) the subject’s desire for absolute autonomy is the source of idolatry and violence. Furthermore, both presupposesuffering as the individual’s driving force, seeking relief in idols or scapegoats; accepting this suffering by imitating Christ is the solution, freeing one from selfish,idolatrous desires. (shrink)
The reception of René Girard’s work in France deserves book-length treatment to fully describe the heated debates, conflicting expectations, and controversy that it inspired before its lasting importance was eventually recognized. We must keep in mind that, although he lived in the US and became a citizen in 1956, he always kept his sights on his native land. He watched the transformations of French thought from the other side of the ocean; he forged his own writing strategies in response (...) to French thought; and it was within the context of French debates that he chose to formulate, through the conjoined hypotheses concerning mimetic desire, the scapegoat, and Judeo-Christian writing, the founding event of his... (shrink)
Though the work of René Girard has highlighted the interrelations between sacrifice and sacrality in the contemporary world, it has yet to engage the work of Walter Benjamin and his heir, Giorgio Agamben, whose project concerning the Homo Sacer has aroused interest in contemporary political thought. By focusing on Benjamin's early description of mimesis and its relation to language, a position can be elaborated that steers mimesis clear of its indebtedness to language and towards a ‘purer’ realm of gesture. (...) Benjamin's formulation of a more proper ‘divine’ language of gestures could then be said to coalesce with certain historical-religious proclamations, something that Agamben's work challenges us to consider as a viable, albeit ‘profane’, political and ethical option for humanity. (shrink)
This article attempts to respond to the fractional presence of feminist discourse around René Girard’s theory of mimetic desire. I will first briefly examine the relevant critical stands on mimesis and then proceed to rehabilitate it for feminism via an analysis of Judith Butler’s theory of performative gender. By bringing together selected aspects of Girard and Butler’s work, it will be possible to build a constructive dialogue between the two thinkers. Due to the scope of the paper I will (...) not be able to give an exhaustive account of the respective theories, and hence I will discuss only the most relevant aspects. Girard is concerned with giving an account of conflictual mimetic desire in social and cultural.. (shrink)
In a letter to Raymund Schwager from October 1991, René Girard arrived at a very critical verdict concerning his 1978 book Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World—the very book about which he had written almost one and a half decades before, that it contained the “essence of what I have to say” and “clarified and dissipated former misunderstandings.”1 The reason for this change of mind was Raymund Schwager himself, who had sent him the manuscript of a paper (...) on “Mimesis and Freedom” he had presented seven years earlier, in 1984, at a symposium on Girard’s thinking in Provo, Utah.2 For Girard, who had actually attended the Provo symposium, this text as such was, naturally, not new. And it was not new for him .. (shrink)
The reception of the thought of René Girard in theological discourse has been anything but uniform. Some have praised his theory for its simplicity and the scope of its explanatory power, while others have critiqued its apparent negative anthropology and claim to universality. Girard is known for articulating what he has termed “mimetic theory” and, more controversially, for arguing that the mimetic desire particular to human beings leads to violence, which can only be attenuated by a sacrificial system that (...) has arisen alongside human culture. Girard has faced numerous critiques against his theory in general, and has received backlash for his suspicion of and subsequent distancing from, the language of sacrifice.... (shrink)
In the year 2002, I came across a manuscript by Jean-Pierre Dupuy that linked the work of Ivan Illich with that of René Girard. I immediately set about translating the text, which was published in Spanish as part of the essay collection The Other Titan: Ivan Illich.1 The original “Detour and Sacrifice” can be found in two books that pay tribute to the authors. The first was compiled by Lee Hoinacki and Carl Mitcham, Illich’s disciples;2 the second is a (...) book edited by Sandor Goodhart, Jorgen Jorgensen, Tom Ryba, and James G. Williams that celebrates Girard’s work.3The genesis of Dupuy’s text actually goes back to 1996 and was inspired by Ivan Illich’s seventieth birthday, which was celebrated with a series of... (shrink)
Karin Peter and Nikolaus Wandinger, James G. Williams, and Mathias Moosbrugger give in their essays in this volume of Contagion some basic information about the correspondence between these two “beautiful minds”: René Girard and Raymund Schwager. I would now like to go “step-by-step” along the way of some selected letters, and this only insofar as they discussed the question of sacrifice.1 Going this way the reader can get an idea how these two men were dealing with each other. These (...) excerpts show on the one hand the dynamic of their correspondence, on the other hand the different positions of the partners. Girard is not a theologian, so he shows uncertainty with regard to theological questions. Schwager is firmly .. (shrink)